Education

Last year, the Vermont Agency of Education released its "Best Practices for Schools Regarding Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students." The agency recently reissued those guidelines after President Trump rescinded an Obama order compelling public schools to let students use restrooms that conform to their gender identity, not their biological sex.

Charles Murray, an influential writer who espouses controversial theories on race and socioeconomics, is speaking at Middlebury College on Thursday. His appearance is prompting questions about the format of the speech and the role of the college's Political Science Department in organizing the lecture.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Last week, the Vermont Senate gave unanimous approval to a bill that would limit Vermont’s role in federal immigration enforcement. And for a group of young Vermonters on hand to witness the Senate debate, the legislation hits particularly close to home.

Many small towns in New England are eager to welcome refugees from the war in Syria, but that doesn’t seem likely under President Donald Trump’s shifting immigration policy.

St. Johnsbury Academy in Vermont has found a way around that -- they’re offering scholarships to refugees already living in the U.S.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

For towns such as Elmore, in Lamoille County, school choice is a 140-year tradition. When the town was considering a merger with neighboring Morristown last year, some residents were concerned they'd be giving up that tradition for a tax break. A year later, the town is experiencing the pros and cons of that choice.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson joins the program to talk about a range of topics, including the Legislature's reaction to Gov. Phil Scott's proposal for Vermont school budgets.

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Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A push by the State Board of Education to expand the special-education obligations of independent schools across Vermont has earned it some new enemies in Montpelier, and proposed legislation that would strip the 11-person panel of its century-old role in setting education policy.

In response to the Trump Administration rescinding protections that allowed transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice, among other things, Vermont officials say they will uphold locally inscribed rights for those students.

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Ask a roomful of Vermonters to explain school choice and you will probably get several different answers depending on where they're from. If they hail from two different school choice or "tuitioning" towns, they could have varying rules. And if they come from a town without school choice, they might not even understand what you're talking about.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Last year, about $43 million in public money was spent on private schools by families using school choice in Vermont. Now, the State Board of Education says it wants more oversight on how Vermont's independent schools are using public funds.

Gina Nemirofsky / Ten Times Ten LLC

You know the story of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl who was almost assassinated for advocating for girls' education, and who later won a Nobel Peace Prize for efforts. But a new book by Vermont writer reminds us there are millions of Malalas in the world, and the barriers to their education are profound.

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Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The State Board of Education has postponed a vote on a controversial proposal that would require independent schools to accept all students, regardless of their special-education needs.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The State Board of Education is proposing some controversial new rules, which some private school advocates say threaten the very existence of some of these schools. And one of the big issues of contention is special education.

James Buck

There have been a lot of losses for the St. Michael’s men’s basketball team this season — 19 defeats and five wins — although they have been competitive in almost every game they've played.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Among the dozens of independent schools in Vermont that accept public students through the state's school choice system, none are more specialized than the winter academies. The oldest of these institutions is Burke Mountain Academy.

Saint Michael's College Athletics Department, courtesy

With a father who was a World Cup skier for France and a mother who skied on the national team of Spain, skiing was in the stars for Saint Michael's College alpine ski team members Meggane and Guillaume Grand. 

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

About one-third of the towns in Vermont have some kind of school choice, and independent schools have opened up near these communities to take advantage of the choice system. Now, the State Board of Education is proposing new rules for these schools — and people in the communities are fighting back.

Bodnarchuk / iStock

When they rank states with the biggest bullying problems, Vermont is safely near the bottom: 44th out of 46 states on the list. And bullying in Vermont schools has remained relatively flat over the past four years. So what's the problem?

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Public hearings Monday night on Gov. Phil Scott’s proposed budget showcased strong support for some of the new spending initiatives in the Republican’s plan. But advocates’ hopes for increased funding are about to meet with some harsh fiscal realities in Montpelier.

Toby Talbot / AP file

Gov. Phil Scott has reappointed Rebecca Holcombe as secretary of the Agency of Education, keeping in place a key player in the delicate rollout of a school district consolidation law passed in 2015.

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